Recap Time. On my final day of One-Week Job, I was a little nervous. When I got to the studio, I couldn't find Niblett. The turnaround between radio shows is very quick; I had become used to only having five minutes to relax in the studio before going on air. However, I had also become used to Niblett running around, using those five minutes to prepare.
At six minutes to 6pm, he was nowhere to be found.
I sat in my chair and waited, pretending to write something on my notepad. I started to wonder what I was to do if 6pm were to hit. Maybe I should go find someone, I thought. Two minutes later, Niblett came through the door, confirming that I had internally overreacted for nothing. He was carrying all of his belongings, and wearing a Candy 95 Polo shirt and a grin.
I was relieved that I wasn't going to have to do the last show alone, but I was curious about the routine changes. During talk breaks, Nibs told me what was up.
A DJ's time isn't always spent in an official studio. Sometimes a DJ does remote broadcasting, which is on-air broadcasting from any place outside a studio. Certain businesses or organizations can request this type of broadcasting, so any event they may be holding can gain more awareness. DJs can also show up to certain events sans broadcasting. As I said in the previous post, DJs are public figures, and while many people hate public figures, many people love them.
And kids, of all people, LOVE public figures, ESPECIALLY DJs.
Earlier that day, Niblett and other Candy DJs went to Grand Station Entertainment, a local bowling and lazer tag place, to eat and bowl with a group of young kids. That was why he came into the studio a little late. I'm not sure what group the children were from, but Niblett made it clear to me that they had to deal with way more than they should be at their age.
It was a rare and special day for the kids, because they got to relax, have some fun, and “be normal” for once. Niblett told me how much fun he had playing with and getting to know each and every one of the kids, and how he felt like he was being meaningful with his time:
“They were so excited to meet me and hang out with me. And the feeling was instantly and naturally mutual. I felt like I was doing something real good. I'm so glad you were here for me to talk about this, Michelle. This is the reason I do radio. To be in a position where I can give back in this way. This is the reason.”
Niblett showed me a paper plate that had all the kids' name on it; he planned to give a shout-out to all of them when he got a chance. He rewrote all the names on another sheet of paper so he could make sure everyone was accounted for. The whole thing was so cute to hear and witness. Niblett is a guy with a ton of energy, but the energy he was emitting on my last day was something new. I fed off of it, and we had a smooth show full of laughs and healthy drama.
The entire night went by quickly and normally, as good experiences always seem to. In what seemed like an hour but was really five, my OWJ journey ended. What was next? I had no idea.
I rarely do. :)
What did you dislike about the job?
- I wish I had been in a position where I could have contributed more. There wasn't really a lot I could do in terms of clip editing and program organization because I lacked specific skills.
- Working in the evenings is a little tricky. You get to sleep in extremely late, but you end up feeling lazy somewhere around 6pm because of the traditional work day ingrained in our minds and bodies. Because I didn't have a lot of other things to do during the day, I would end up searching for things to do to fill my time until my shift began. Also, everyone else ends work when you begin, so it's hard to coordinate schedules and hang out. I think I prefer to work hard during the day (not necessarily all day or at specific times), and play at night. If I have to work at night, I'd want to work extremely late, like 2am. I focus better when others are asleep.
- I don't do well with illusions. Everyone in radio/television/film/music knows that there are a LOT of “tricks of the trade.” It's similar to when you have your favorite celebrity and you discover parts of them that you thought were real are completely fabricated. Some people's lives are ruined when they stumble upon these truths. And if you think you know it all, you probably don't. Or you probably don't want to know. Accordingly, there is the “illusion of radio” that simply has to be kept, otherwise the sound is no longer as fresh and entertaining. There is a persona that has to be maintained. It has nothing to do with being “fake,” it's just how things are done. Whatever work I want to do, I want to be able to share the heck out of it with people as much as I can. There are limits to that vision with radio work. Kind of the reason for the repeated pictures. ;) Shh it's a secret.
- The routine level is too high. You have to come in at a specific time, and you have to play specific songs, among other things. I think those requirements would incite some ennui in me after some time.
- Night radio presents itself in quick and short periods. I'm not a quick thinker – well not THAT quick. Niblett's ability to come up with clever comebacks within 5 seconds on air will never cease to amaze me. The same goes for his ability to edit sound clips of phone calls to air in minutes. That kind of work is something that would stress me out, which is probably the reason for the giggling instead of trying to match wits with Niblett. I like to talk and discuss for longer than a few minutes...no one wants that at night. :)
- I don't want to be in a job where I'm working alone. Niblett usually works the 6pm to 11pm shift all by himself, and I imagine that after a few years, time would start to pass extremely slowly because you have no one else to talk to. I simply need a lot of face-to-face (F2F) interaction if I'm going to be working. With breaks, of course. But I can't give people up altogether. :)
What did you like about the job?
- I liked being in a position where I could spread love and I knew that a good amount of people were listening. I'm referencing Niblett's experience with the kids, but I got some stories myself. Being a DJ was just another fun experience for me. I never thought I was a celebrity or anything, or that anyone was actually listening. However, in the end, it was surprising to hear/read how many people were listening to my voice. It was pretty cool to find out.
- Being able to give shout-outs on air was awesome. I got to return support to some of the people who helped me get into the One-Week Job Program. It warmed my heart so much to be able to give back in such a small way. It made me think about all the good I could do in the world, and those types of thoughts never get old for me.
- I liked interacting with people via the radio station SMS account and phone calls too. I liked being surrounded by opinions. But again, calls and texts wouldn't be enough for me. I'd need some F2F.
- I liked being on the air just to be on the air! When I wasn't giggling, I was comfortable with the microphone, and that was both exciting and encouraging. A lot of people would find that type of exposure daunting; I was pleased that I took on the task with relative ease. It's always nice not to suck at something.
- To oppose the routine level comment, I do like SOME routine. I said this during week # 6. Pop (music) is priceless and necessary, in my opinion, for its simplicity, contagiousness, and requirement for dancing. Being surrounded by music every minute of work kept my mood up.
- Lastly, the thing I liked most about being a Radio DJ was having a co-host. Excuse me – BEING a co-host. Having someone to talk to whenever I wanted. :D I loved talking with Niblett constantly and getting to know about his life, talking about tons of topics. It was like an instant friendship for me. Did I mention I need this sort of thing in my job?
What lessons did you learn from being a radio DJ / Week 8?
- "Stay humble, no matter who you are." - Niblett. People will like you more.
- No news is good news. The public has opinions, and some people will call your manager to report you for something just because they don't like what you said on the radio. Some people will call your manager to praise you, but it's less likely. Therefore, it's better to not hear anything at all.
- Shake it off. For those in the spotlight, you have a responsibility to speak your own thoughts, and to respect others'. Unfortunately and once more, some people are behind and cannot comprehend fundamental civility. These types of people will seem to quadruple if you work in the entertainment industry. Recognize this, and take everything lightly. Heated responses are futile and immature in most cases.
- However, don't become heartless or crazy because you keep all your feelings inside. You can have feelings. Balance is key. Do what you need to do.
- Someone's probably listening. Or someone will. Speak on. This goes beyond radio waves. Think love and happiness and human connection and things like that.
- Be patient. Don't assume things. Ever. There's always more to people, to their stories. Make the commitment to listen, just like they're probably willing to listen to you.
Oh wow. These lessons make it seem as if I went back to the basics of “how to make friends and love people”, the stuff that you learn when you start going to school. "Share" and that stuff. I suppose we all need that refresher course every few years. It is easy to forget patience and love and all that when you hate what you spend most of your time doing. :)
Would you do this as a more-than-one-week job?
Yes, I would, but probably on a morning talk show and less often. Maybe once or twice a week? Five times a week might be too much for me.
A big "THANK YOU!!!!!" to the big boss, Alli, from “Morning Candy with Frito and Alli” for giving the final “okay” for me to work with Candy.
And to Niblett:
If my words from my time with you didn't convey it enough, I respect you a lot. Thank you for letting me steal your thunder a bit. Thank you for refilling my water cup so many times, you're a true gentleman. Thank you for the many votes of confidence. Thank you for being you. I had a "blast" hanging out and just TALKING with you for five days. I definitely consider you a friend, so:
ANSWER ME WHEN I TEXT YOU.
The value of voice revealed itself to me a lot during Week #8. I found that the voice I needed to work as a radio DJ was both literal and figurative. In a quick attempt to process my eight weeks, I admitted to myself that my voice matters.
Moreover, I admitted to myself that I never fully believed in my abilities to effect change. I've always been a proponent of every individual's...individuality, doing all that I could to encourage as many people as possible to speak their mind.
But I wasn't practicing what I was preaching. I was spending most of my time helping others, while I was letting myself drown. My esteem was not at the level it should have been, evident in the amount of fear and doubt that was consuming me in my past.
Saying and doing are not the same thing, and with One-Week Job...everything about One-Week Job made all my thoughts, ideas, and hopes a reality. It confirmed that my "power beyond measure."
I'm so very grateful and fortunate for this breakthrough, and I know I may have to be reminded of it when things aren't as easy.
You know...i should be whatever i want. i should say whatever i want. i should do whatever i want. i should live well, and i should live unashamedly. So i will. My voice matters, and someone will listen to me when i speak. Not just hear. Someone already does. That's enough for me "to not just exist, but be alive." Our lives are too short to keep quiet. I'm getting all “Gen Y” here but simply put...
Find out what that means. Look for Yourself. Don't be embarrassed or afraid to do so.
And when You're expressing, express excessively. These actions should hurt no one.
And if they do, that's THEIR problem.
Those who mind don't matter.
You know the rest. :D